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Microsoft is said to be working on a lightweight version of the desktop operating system reported called ‘Lite’ and it is intended to be optimized for 2-in-1s, laptops, and tablets. According to Brad Sams, the ‘Lite’ operating system is squarely aimed at the likes of affordable 2-in-1s that use the lightweight Chrome OS from Google. Windows Lite may or may not be promoted under the Windows brand, according to the report. The name Lite might be a placeholder for internal development and the company could opt for an entirely different name when it brings the OS to the market. The “truly lightweight” OS will power the affordable and new form factor devices from Microsoft’s partners. The new report claims that Microsoft is working on Lite for two types of devices – Centaurus and Pegasus. As the last report revealed, Centaurus devices are dual-screen devices. Pegasus, on the other hand, refers to a new lineup of laptops with different configurations or features running the Lite OS. Unlike Windows 10, Microsoft’s Lite operating system will be reportedly simplified and targeted at a simpler use-case to compete with Chrome OS in the education sector and other markets. Lite will be the best choice for on-the-go needs and Windows 10 will always remain the best choice multi-tasking and as well as productivity. Lite isn’t supposed to replace any existing version of Windows and it’s not something that the users would run on the desktop. Lite, which is said to be a truly lightweight platform, will also have instant-on functionality and it should be able to run on any CPU. Get caught up on OUR FORUM.

Microsoft’s Chief Legal Officer and President Brad Smith met with the Catholic Pontiff today to discuss how AI can be used ethically and what can be done to help bridge the digital divide between rich and poor nations. The talks at the Pope’s residence lasted 30 minutes and concluded with an announcement that its Academy for Life would jointly sponsor a prize with Microsoft for the best doctoral dissertation in 2019 on the theme of “artificial intelligence at the service of human life”. Smith separately told the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano that “strong ethical and new, evolved laws” were needed so that technological advances such as artificial intelligence do not fall into the wrong hands. Smith had been advocating for some time for new legislation to govern artificial intelligence software for recognizing faces, as a way to mitigate the risks of biased outcomes, intrusions into privacy and democratic freedoms. Microsoft’s preoccupation with the nascent field of AI safety, on the other hand, appears somewhat at odds with its enthusiasm to give its best tools, including AI, to the US Military, even if it is with the explicit purpose of “increasing lethality”. Microsoft has recently won a $480 million bid from the Department of Defense for an augmented reality helmet for US infantry which will likely heavily rely on neural processing and AI to recognize and presumably target individuals for lethal force. The Army said the headsets are intended to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy.” Follow along on OUR FORUM.

Turns out is not just Facebook and Google who are misusing Apple’s Enterprise Certificate Program to distribute apps which would not pass Apple’s App Store approval process. Techcrunch has discovered that hundreds of companies are distributing pornography and gambling apps to members of the public using the certificate system designed for only internal use. Many of the certificates were also fraudulently applied for using the name of legitimate companies, with TechCrunch reporting that the process of applying for the certificate only involved filling in a web form with some details of a legitimate company which could easily be acquired from a web search, paying $299 to Apple and answering a phone call a few weeks later. Once a certificate was acquired it was often used by multiple unrelated publishers. Apps available to sideload from websites included Swag, PPAV, Banana Video, iPorn (iP), Pear, Poshow and AVBobo, RD Poker and RiverPoke, all of which violated Apple’s content policies. “Developers that abuse our enterprise certificates are in violation of the Apple Developer Enterprise Program Agreement and will have their certificates terminated, and if appropriate, they will be removed from our Developer Program completely. We are continuously evaluating the cases of misuse and are prepared to take immediate action.” Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.

Earlier this month, some Windows 10 users complained that Windows Update stopped working on their PCs and they couldn’t download any new updates. The users were unable to gain access to the Windows Update service and Microsoft Store also failed to download any new updates. The issue was acknowledged by Microsoft earlier this month and the company confirmed that the outage was experienced due to issues with external DNS providers. In an update to its support document, Microsoft has now confirmed that the Windows Update issues have been addressed and everything should be back online. In case Windows Update is still not working for you, Microsoft recommends users to contact their ISPs. “Windows Update customers were recently affected by a network infrastructure event caused by an external DNS service provider’s global outage. A software update to the external provider’s DNS servers resulted in the distribution of corrupted DNS records that affected connectivity to the Windows Update service. The DNS records were restored by January 30, 2019 (00:10 UTC), but downstream effects continued. We believe the issue to be fully mitigated because the majority of local Internet Service Providers (ISP) have refreshed their DNS servers and customer services have been restored. If you are still encountering download failures, please contact your local ISP,” Microsoft explains. More can be found on OUR FORUM.

Microsoft is believed to be working on a Surface Pro model which could be a bit thinner and lighter. While Microsoft is considering making the Surface slimmer, there is a new patent that brings smart fabrics to Surface tablets, 2-in-1 devices, wearables, handheld devices, and more. In the patent application, Microsoft explains various methods to use sensors to create smart fabrics which could be implemented on Surface hardware, wearables, and other handheld devices. The patent titled ‘FORMING TOUCH SENSOR ON FABRIC’ was applied by Microsoft in July 2017 and published by USPTO on January 24, 2019. With this patent application, Microsoft is looking to bring touch sensors to the fabric material of its hardware. For instance, in the case of a handheld device such as a tablet, the fabric used on the front panel and back surface will have touch sensors. In the detailed description section of the patent, Microsoft says that a touch sensor implemented on the fabric of the device could be configured to work with other sensors. For example, smart fabrics will could be configured to detect swipes or other touch gestures. This may allow users to browse through apps, adjust volume, settings and other functions. It may also allow the device to control another device which is paired wirelessly with the computing device, such as a smartphone. The patent further details a method where users will be allowed to interface with the front touch panel without losing the grip of the device. We have the patent posted on OUR FORUM.

Microsoft has joined the OpenChain Project as a platinum member to support standardization in open source compliance. OpenChain project makes open source license compliance simpler and more consistent for organizations. As a member of the OpenChain Project, Microsoft will help create best practices and define standards for open source software compliance. This will allow enterprises to use Microsoft and other open source technologies together in heterogeneous environments. Microsoft will also join the OpenChain Governing Board which already includes members from Adobe, ARM Holdings, Cisco, Comcast, Facebook, GitHub, Google, Harman International, Hitachi, Qualcomm, Siemens, Sony, Toshiba, Toyota, Uber, and Western Digital. “Trust is key to open source, and compliance with open source licenses is an important part of building that trust,” said David Rudin, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft. “By joining the OpenChain Project, we look forward to working alongside the community to define compliance standards that help build confidence in the open source ecosystem and supply chain.” “We’re thrilled that Microsoft has joined the project and welcome their expertise,” said Shane Coughlan, OpenChain General Manager. “Microsoft is a strong addition not only in terms of open source but also in standardization. Their membership provides great balance to our community of enterprise, cloud, automotive and silicon companies, allowing us to ensure the standard is suitable for any size company across any industry.” Follow this thread on OUR FORUM.

 

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